Michigan coach faces new charge in assault of referee in McCracken County

Referees speak out after official attacked at basketball game

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY (KFVS) - McCracken County Sheriff’s Office officials said a man is back in custody after a reported assault at the Sports Plex on US Highway 60 West on Saturday, April 6.

Keyon Menifield, 40 of Flint, Michigan, was charged with a felony assault on Kenny Culp, 60 of Paducah according to officials.

First, McCracken County Sheriff’s Office responded to an assault call at the Sports Plex on Saturday, April 6.

According to McCracken County Sheriff’s Office, a coach, identified as Menifield, got into an argument with a Culp who is a referree.

Meinfield is faced a class A misdemeanor charge of first-offense assault of Culp

A GoFundMe page was set up to raise money for the injured high school referee.

Deputies said Culp turned to walked away and Menifield punched him, knocking him unconscious and causing minor injuries.

Menifield left the area before deputies arrived, but was quickly found at a hotel and arrested, deputies said. He was taken to the McCracken County Regional Jail.

Deputies said after receiving medical updates on Culp’s injuries they began immediately forwarding those facts to the McCracken County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.

Officials consulted about taking felony assault charges on Menifield. Deputies said based on the new medical facts, they got an arrest warrant of Menifield on Monday April 8.

Authorities in Flint, Michigan were contacted and detectives said they requested assistance in locating and arresting Menifield.

On April 16 around 9 a.m. Menifield reported to his scheduled court appearance on the original charge and was taken into custody without incident on the felony assault second-degree warrant. His bond at this time is $15,000.00.

Menifield has criminal convictions for assault and drug trafficking. The previous assault convictions were not on other sports officials.

One local referee spoke out about the issue.

George Yoffie has been an official since he was 13, and he said he's been threatened while working a game but never attacked. He is also in favor of legislation to protect people who officiate youth sports.

“The idea of an official being attacked is just ridiculous its beyond the pay and it should be severe penalties for this," Yoffie said.

He also wants to remind people that officials aren’t perfect, and most do it out of a love of sports.

“He’s probably getting paid 40 or 50 bucks to run up, and down the court with youth and get a workout,” he said.

Yoffie said parents get worked up a lot but he says officials don’t usually worry about the coaches. \\

“Coaches usually know better coaches know that they’re there to set the example for the kids,” he said.

Mauren Ryan watches a lot of sports, and she said people should trust the officials are doing their best to be fair.

“It’s a quick call they are doing their best they have been trained,” she said.

As for Yoffie, he worries this attack could keep good people from joining the officiating team.

“There is a severe lack of young men and woman coming into the official ranks and part of the reason is things like this,” he said.

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